May 21, 2008

Seventh-seeded Kansas State defeated No. 2 Oklahoma State. 3-2 on the first day of the Big 12 Conference Baseball Championship at AT&T Bricktown Ballpark in Oklahoma City.

The loss was OSU's ninth in a row at the Big 12 tournament and the Cowboys fell to 40-16 on the season.

Sophomore Tyler Blandford suffered the loss on the mound for OSU and fell to 4-5 on the season despite allowing just two earned runs on eight hits in 7.2 innings of work. The outing was the second longest of the right hander's career.

Offensively, Tom Belza collected three of OSU's eight hits and also drove in a run.

K-State (28-27) took a lead early in the contest when Nate Tenbrink delivered a two-run home run to left-centerfield in the top of the first inning.

Following the first frame, Blandford allowed just one run over the next 6.2 innings, that coming on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Dane Yelovich in the fourth inning that made the score 3-0.

OSU did not get on the scoreboard until the seventh. With one out, Luis Flores and Belza collected back-to-back singles, and Tyrone Hambly was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Donnie Webb then brought home a run with an RBI fielder's choice to cut the Cowboys' deficit to 3-1.

Following Webb's RBI, the Cowboys loaded the bases again when Jordy Mercer reached on an error, but Matt Hague lined out to second base to end the rally.

OSU tallied its final run in the eighth. Pinch hitter Rafael Thomas led off the inning with a double, and after Flores drew a two-out walk, Belza singled through the left side to plate Thomas and make the score 3-2.

But again the Cowboys would strand runners on base as pinch hitter Michael Dabbs struck out with two aboard to end the inning.

Brad Hutt (7-4) earned the win for K-State with a 6.2 inning effort in which he allowed just one run and struck out six. Daniel Edwards worked the final two innings and struck out the side in the ninth for his 11th save.